Todays Angel Flight took us down to South Hill Virginia to pick up our cute little passenger Kendall and her Mom Sindy. We have flown this delightful young lady before and what an inspiration she is ! The flight down to South Hill was at 6000 feet and the ride was quite choppy….. strong winds with a lot of wave action. The landing at South Hill was visual with a strong, gusting cross wind coming across a line of trees.
After greeting Kendall and her Mom we loaded up and departed for Pittsburgh Pa (About a 2.5 hour flight due to the strong winds) The climb out was quite bumpy as was most of the flight due to the strong winds and wave action over the mountains….. Kendall liked the bumps but her mom gets motion sickness, and this ride was not good for that. We started off climbing to a cruise altitude of 8000 feet but after awhile decided that due to the extreme wave action and strong headwinds we would request 6000….. which helped with both, although it was still quite choppy. 6000 feet took us in and out of clouds containing sometimes nothing and other times ice and other times snow (the ground was white in places) …. so strange due to the fact that we flew yesterday (March 1st) in 70 degree temps with strong thunderstorms…… the only thing these two days had in common was WIND ! As we got closer to Pittsburgh we were able to descend down for the most part beneath the clouds. Our approach into Pittsburgh was visual to runway 28 with some pretty good gusting winds. After landing, any ice that was left on the Airplane dropped off. After spending some time with Kendall and her Mom (while waiting on their taxi) we received (and gave) some great big hugs and said our goodbyes. We then loaded up, got our clearance and departed Pittsburgh heading for home. We requested 9000 feet to be on top of the clouds but found out once there that was not enough….. so we requested and received 11000 feet and that put us up and over the top of a beautiful sea of clouds. The ride at this point smoothed out very well. So we kicked back in cruise and had our picnic lunch (which we always enjoy in the air…… we have had picnics above the most exciting places and sometimes in some very exciting weather)…. for the record, our picnics consist of…… summer sausage, cheese, crackers and a fruit/cereal bar ! (Nothing like a picnic above a sea of clouds at almost 2 miles above the earth !)… Once back to our home area we cancel IFR and quickly descended thru openings in the cloud layers…… then at about 7000 feet and above Shenandoah County we decide it would be a good time to practice engine failure. So back came the throttle and very controllably down we came landing on runway 22 with again some pretty strong gusting crosswinds. After tucking 49 Bravo in her hanger and making our first cup of coffee for the day, we bowed down and got into a car and started our most dangerous part of the day….. the drive home ! Thanks for your time, we appreciate it very much…… John and Nevin. (Hope you enjoy the following pictures)
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